“Live Well, Age Well” Education Series with Norwell Senior Center

September 24, 2021

Live Well, Age Well
Education Series with Norwell Council on Aging

None of us can escape aging, but the choices we make throughout life can influence how well we live as we age. The Norwell Council on Aging is excited to begin the “Live Well, Age Well” initiative, offering a broad range of classes and programs that encourage living and aging well in our community.

Do you have older parents and are concerned about their well-being as they age? Are you an older adult who is faced with or putting off important life decisions? Are you a solo ager or have no family nearby and wondering how to plan for your future? If you answered yes to any of these, please join us for this exciting 5-part education series on Tuesday nights. See the flyer below for topic details.

All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the meeting room at the beautiful new Norwell Public Library, located at 64 South St. This program is open to adults of any age, as well as out-of-town guests. To sign up, please call the Norwell Council on Aging office (not our office!) at 781-659-7878 or online by clicking HERE. Transportation can be coordinated for Norwell residents. Please note that masks are required for all attendees.

The Norwell Senior Center thanks its community partners First Parish of Norwell and United Church of Christ and the Norwell Public Library for hosting this series.

Yours truly will be presenting with the October 19 panel! We look forward to seeing you!

Who Can Talk to Social Security on Your Behalf?

May 20, 2021

Filed under: Social Security — Alexis @ 12:49 PM

If you are on Social Security, then you know that sometimes there’s a need to talk to the agency.  Maybe you’ve changed your address, or perhaps a spouse died and you needed to adjust your monthly payment.

But what happens if you need to talk to Social Security, but you aren’t competent to do so?  In that case, Social Security has a process by which someone can apply to be your “representative payee.”  That’s the equivalent of a power of attorney to the rest of us; Social Security chose to call it something else.  Usually a family member will be the person to apply to be your representative payee.

At the time when someone other than you needs to communicate with Social Security on your behalf, there is a process for that individual to be appointed as representative payee.  But now, while you are competent, you have the opportunity to at least tell Social Security who you would want that person to be, should you ever need a representative payee.  You can do that by logging into your my Social Security account, by telephone, in person, or in writing.

For more information on advance designation of a representative payee, please visit the Social Security website.

And if we can help you with any other advanced planning – like naming a durable power of attorney and health care proxy, creating a will and trust, or generally getting your ducks in a row – please reach out to our office.

– Alexis

Will Stimulus Payments Disrupt My Public Benefits?

March 24, 2021

Will Stimulus Payments Disrupt My Public Benefits?

If you are on public benefits and receiving a stimulus payment, then you are probably concerned about how the payment will affect your public benefits (ex. MassHealth or SSI).  In short, it will not.

Stimulus payments are not considered “income.”   They are also not considered “assets” UNLESS you are still holding the stimulus payment twelve months from now.

So what should you do with the stimulus payment?  One option, of course, is to spend it, and that’s exactly what it was designed for.  Another option is to deposit it into an ABLE account.  If you were disabled before age 26, it could make sense for you to have an ABLE account, if you don’t already.  You can read more about ABLE accounts here.

For more information on the stimulus payment and public benefits, see this article by Special Needs Answers.

As always, please reach out if you have questions about public benefits or other elder law and special needs planning topics.

– Alexis

Elder Care Workshop Series at Norwell Public Library

March 7, 2017


Getting older? Taking care of someone who is? Come to this three-part series to learn some helpful tips from local Elder Services professionals.

Wednesday, March 8:

“Who Can Help Me?”

Find out how to access elder services in your community.

Presented by Susan Curtin, Director at Norwell Council on Aging.


“Elder Law 101”

Get to know the basics of preparing for your future.

Presented by Attorney Alexis B. Levitt.


Wednesday, March 15:

“Learn to Speak Alzheimereze”

Discover tips to work with a person who is changing before your eyes and to learn to speak ‘Alzheimereze.’

Presented by Alzheimer’s coach Beverly Moore.


Wednesday, March 29: 

“Hospital to Home”

Understand how to make a successful transition from hospital to home.

Presented by Kim Bennett, LSW, of Visiting Angels, Inc.


“Do I Need Palliative or Hospice Care?”

Learn about the difference in important care choices.

Presented by Catherine Harrington, BA, RN, of Norwell VNA and Hospice.


***Workshops will be held at the Norwell Public Library from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Registration is requested, but not required via email at Doreen@alexislevitt.com or calling 781.740.7269.


This series is sponsored by the Law Office of Alexis B. Levitt, the Norwell Council on Aging, and the Norwell Public Library.




Have You Been Appointed Representative Payee?

December 21, 2016

If you are caring for a loved one who receives Social Security and who cannot manage the Social Security benefits on her own, then you can ask the Social Security Administration to name you (or someone else) as your loved one’s “representative payee.”

This is not a difficult job, but there are some things you need to know. The Social Security Administration has developed a series of videos to help you understand your new job. You can find the videos here.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Files a Bill to Raise the SSI Resource Limit

March 27, 2014

Filed under: Social Security,Special Needs — Alexis @ 11:48 AM

Another reason to love Senator Warren.  As you likely know, an SSI recipient can have only $2,000 in her bank account.  It’s an absurdly small amount to keep on hand.  It can barely cover any emergencies (like car repairs) and causes a lot of anxiety among SSI recipients and their families as they perform the endless balancing act of having enough money on hand to pay bills but not enough so as to send them over the $2,000 limit.

Senator Warren’s bill would also increase the amount of income that members could earn and additionally would eliminate the restrictions on families trying to assist the member with food and housing costs.

The asset and income rules are punishingly low for disabled individuals.  Senator Warren is trying to change that.

For more details, see this story.

Department of Public Health Survey on Health Needs for People with Disabilities

May 20, 2013

This landed in my inbox. It took about 5 minutes to fill it out. Due date is May 31. Here are the details:

Help influence health care in Massachusetts! The Health and Disability Program, part of Office of Health Equity at the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) is conducting a health needs survey for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The Office of Health Equity promotes the health and well being of minority populations, including people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. Results from the survey will be used to determine how best to address the current public health needs of the disability community. To that end, first, please take a few moments to complete the health needs survey yourself here.

DPH would like to get a broad range of respondents representing all the facets of the disability community, please forward the link to your friends and colleagues in the disability community and ask them to complete.

Who should complete this survey?

Residents of Massachusetts, over the age of 18 who have disabilities
Caregivers or guardians of adults or children with disabilities
Disability advocates
Staff at community based organizations or state or local government offices that serve people with disabilities
Academic researchers
Healthcare providers
Public health officials or professionals
Health and wellness promotion specialists
Health administrators
Health policy experts
We also invite participation by anyone else who has an interest in the health of people living with disabilities in Massachusetts. Please forward as soon as possible, as the survey link will only remain active until May 31, 2013. We look forward to hearing from you!

This is a voluntary and anonymous survey. The responses are compiled and we do not have knowledge of individual respondents.

More Fast Track Compassionate Care Allowances Added to Social Security Disability

December 19, 2012

Filed under: Social Security — Alexis @ 3:24 PM

If you are disabled according to Social Security Disability (SSDI) regulations, and if you have worked long enough to have contributed adequately to the Social Security system, then you are entited to SSDI, and after being on SSDI for two years, you are entitled to Medicare.

Getting qualified for SSDI can be a tough process, but SSDI does have a long list of conditions or illnesses considered to be so apparently disabling, that you don’t have to go through a lengthy process to prove you can’t work.  If you have one of these conditions or illnesses, the folks at SSDI know you can’t work and they fast-track your approval.

SSDI has been hard at work lately expanding the list of fast-track disabilities.  Just recently, they added thirty-five new conditions, bringing the total fast-track list to two hundred.  The most recognizable names from the new additions are Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Adult Onset Huntington Disease.

Check out the full list here to see if you may be able to fast track your SSDI application.

Social Security Added 52 Conditions to the SSDI Compassionate Allowances (Fast Track) Program

August 10, 2012

Filed under: Social Security — Alexis @ 10:58 AM

If you have tried to apply for SSDI, or if you are contemplating applying and have spoken to others about it, then you know it can be a long haul.  SSDI does have a fast-track application process for certain illnesses.  As of this month, they just added 52 more conditions to that list, which will certainly make things easier for at least some people who already have enough to deal with.

Review the entire list of Compassionate Allowances here.

Stimulus Payments to SSI Recipients Do Not Count as Income

April 9, 2009

Filed under: Social Security,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Alexis @ 11:47 AM

But they will count as assets – after nine months.  If you receive SSI, then you know that you usually need to be concerned with two things: (1) receiving extra income in any given month, and (2) if that income is still in your name at the beginning of the next month, it’s now an asset.  

You don’t need to worry about these factors with the $250 stimulus payment that should arrive between now and the end of April.  It won’t be considered income, and it will not be considered an asset for another nine months.  As long as you spend it in the next nine months, it will not cause you to be considered “over-assets.” 

You can see my recent post on scammers trying to take advantage of the Stimulus Payments for Social Security recipients.   For further information, see the SSA’s pamphlet on the Stimulus Payment. 

Older Posts »